Friday, September 8, 2017

Hegel Party This Weekend! (Celebrating 200 Videos Completed)

It's time for another online Hegel Party!  This time the occasion is our passing another number milestone - we have produced and released 200 videos in the Half Hour Hegel series!

We'll be holding it through our FreeConferenceCall videoconferencing site - from 2-3 PM (Central Time) this Sunday, September 10.  I'll be toasting with some of our excellent local Milwaukee beer on my side of the screen, and you're welcome to toast the occasion with anything you like on your end (which, of course, you have to supply!)

Everyone is welcome - whether you are an avid reader of Hegel, or just curious about his work and thought!  I imagine the discussion will be fairly open-ended, with some people asking questions about Hegel or the project, others wanting to discuss some key ideas or applications of his philosophy, and some just wanting to listen in.

In my view, this really is something to celebrate!  I've devoted more than 3 1/2 years now to producing this lecture series - a video commentary, line by line, paragraph by paragraph - designed to help people worldwide make sense of one of the more difficult texts in philosophy - Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.

200 videos means 100 hours of actual video - and who knows how many hours invested in study, planning, shooting, and editing the videos!  We've made it though about 2/3 of the text - the Preface, Introduction, and the Consciousness, Self-Consciousness, and Reason sections.  We're a good ways into the Spirit section as well.

I have to add that I'm immensely grateful for the financial support that people have shown me and the project - a few through paypal donations, and most through my Patreon page.  This entire project is crowdfunded by individuals who view it as providing a valuable public good.  And without their support, I likely wouldn't be able to afford to divert the time, energy, and thought required to see it though (since I earn my living as a philosopher in private practice, rather than as a traditional academic).

So join us to celebrate passing another important milestone in this long laborious path towards completing this innovative digital humanities project - I hope to see you there, toast the 200 video mark, and enjoy some conversation with you over the space of an hour!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Three Videos in the Legal Status Section

The "Legal Right" sub-section of that first part of Spirit - "True Spirit: The Ethical Order" - is relatively short.  Just seven paragraphs, and we got the commentary on it done in just three video installations.

It does provide an important transition point from the much longer earlier sub-sections on "The Ethical World" and "Ethical Action" - where the main dialectical engagements took place between the two ethical powers (the Human Law and the Divine Law), and the individuals who identified themselves with these.

In this section, we see the collapse of those shapes of consciousness and the transition into a new form of social order - one that involves several types of alienation.

Here are those three videos:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Finishing Up The Ethical Action Section

We're now at the end of the second sub-section of the first big section of the Spirit portion of the Phenomenology. What this effectively brings to a close is the entire dynamic of the two ethical powers - Human Law and Divine Law - and, as always, that means that we are moving into something new.

It also brings to its conclusion Hegel's interpretation of the classical Oedipus cycle (notice, not the Oedipus complex), which plays such a significant role in many of the paragraphs of this section.

Really, what Hegel is doing is moving away from the ethical community as that of the city-state - whether that of ancient Thebes, or Athens, or the Roman Republic - a community in which there is some scope for these two ethical powers or laws, and their human representatives, to work out what the Ethical involves.  And in return - as we'll see in the paragraphs in the next section - we're moving into a different kind of social matrix, and thereby a different kind (and meaning) of individuality.

Here are the three paragraphs that finish up this part of the text.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

August Half Hour Hegel Q&A and Discussion Session

Later on this week, I'll be hosting our monthly Half Hour Hegel Q&A and Discussion session.  This month, it is on Tuesday, August 8, 5-6 PM (Central Time).  If you'd like to participate, you can go to our ReasonIO meeting wall, and follow the link to get into the session.

If you've got an interest in - or are just even puzzled by - Hegel's works and thought, German Idealism, or even philosophy more generally - pop in, and join the conversation (or if you like, just lurk and listen)!

The time I devote to these sessions is underwrittten by the Patreon supporters of the Half Hour Hegel project.  If you're interested in becoming a supporter, or learning more about it, you can do so here.

I'm looking forward to another great conversation later on this week - hope to see some of you readers there!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Four Videos in the Ethical Action Section

Human and Divine Law are far from being finished - though they will be by the end of this second section in this "Ethical Order" part of the Spirit portion of the work - and we have a whole new set of dialectical interactions and developments to chart out now.

For those with a strong interest in classical literature, you're going to see Hegel referencing the Oedipus family and political drama pretty extensively in this section.  Why?  Because those narratives provide him with some exemplary figures representing those committed entirely to - and thus able to provide the concrete instantiation of - these two competing and complementary laws, embodying the "ethical substance"

Here are the first four videos in this section.